Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Oh no! I find myself on the same side as John Terry and Sepp Blatter!

Hate to think what he's saying!
I’m delighted that the police in our neighbouring borough, Hammersmith and Fulham, have so much time on their hands that they’ve been able to spend weeks investigating the possibility that a white, working-class footballer from Dagenham may have used racially abusive language when having a bit of a mid-match argy-bargy with a player from the opposing team.

For a while there, I was worried that they might be tempted to investigate the mugging of my son by two blacks in Hammersmith a few weeks back, but as he’s white and attends a private school, I can understand that he rates very low on their list of priorities. Also, there doesn’t seem much point in doing anything on my son’s behalf, because they won’t get to speak to international footballers or deal with media organisations that way, and it won’t, of course, get them featured on the news. (Still, they did offer counselling, which made up for everything.)

And I’m thrilled that our criminal justice system finds so little to occupy itself with that it has decided this is a case worth pursuing. It’s fortunate that we live in such a low-crime city.

Of course, it’s also very reasonable to spend a large amount of taxpayers’ money when the player at whom John Terry’s remarks (he claims to have used the phrase “f---ing black c---“ in order to deny having said it in the first place – to be honest, I don’t care) were directed didn’t make any sort of formal complaint to the police – although, admittedly,  QPR did complain to the FA. No, that came from a member of the public, who was, apparently, outraged by Terry’s language, and has now ensured that the whole country can be outraged by it for months and months on end. Whatever the outcome of the actual case, result!

And there’s the matter of Luis Suaréz, a hot-headed Uruguyan, whom the FA has handed a £40,000 fine and a swingeing eight-match suspension based solely on the testimony of a black French player whom he allegedly called “negrito” (me neither!). I’m pretty sure Suaréz would have got away with a lesser punishment from the FA if he’d taken out a gun and simply shot Patrice Evra during the match, rather than employing a racial epithet which may or may not be insulting.

This is all both quite fantastically silly and decidely sinister, and yet another example of the increasing feminisation of our culture. When men indulge in a bit of verbal jousting under a bit of stress, they will reach for any weapon to make their point: if their opponent is fat, he might very well get called any of the following: fatty, lard-arse, blimp, porker or blubber-bollocks (I made that last one up, but it has a nice ring to it). If they’re short or ugly or effeminate or have a squeaky voice or can’t speak English properly or have a big bottom – they might, in the heat of the moment, get called names which in the cold light of day will seem hurtful. That’s the whole bloody point of using them!

When two men use unflattering terms to wind up their opponent during an argument – in other words, shoot out a few verbal jabs below the belt - the state really needs to butt out and only interfere if it looks as if it’s about to get physical. I’m sure the average Premiership footballer can give as good as he gets – they don’t strike me as vulnerable types, on the whole.

We are not all girlie social workers – yet! But we are undoubtedly guinea pigs in a massive social experiment, and when we don’t get it right the social scientists step in pronto to deliver a powerful electrical charge to our rapidly shrinking gonads. After all, look how well aversion therapy has worked on the police and sports administrators – their testicles have disappeared altogether, along, seemingly, with any last shred of common sense.

By the way, when it comes to curbing racist chants on what used to be the terraces, I’m less sure: this isn’t one man against another, there is no way for the victim to answer back, and thousands of other spectators (millions in the case of some televised matches) can hear what’s being said. Crowds bullying someone because of a physical characteristic is extremely unattractive (I generally loathe crowds in any case).

But then, should we ban spectators from chanting disgusting things about Wayne Rooney’s wife? Or John Terry’s questionable sexual morality? Tricky area – but I don’t see why black players should be subjected to naked racial abuse by gangs of pissed-up morons (and I’m still appalled by the memory of those Spanish F1 Alonso “fans” who put on frizzy wigs, blacked up, and displayed signs announcing that they were members of Lewis Hamilton’s family – what cowardly, despicable wretches!)

And there are many circumstances where I’d be happy for the police to step in to stop racial abuse – for instance, when it’s being deliberately used to provoke violence: but the same is true of all behaviour designed to lead to disorder. When the whole point of the abuse is racial, there may very well be a case to answer - but when it's a by-product of an argument about something else, I think that's different.

But one man verbally squaring up to another in a situation - like a football match - which has nothing to do with race?  As John Terry would no doubt say, do me a f---ing favour! (Especially when the effing and blinding takes place in the presence of grown-ups - i.e match officials, who are there to calm everyone down.)

I’d better make it clear that I don’t like John Terry – but I doubt that someone who regularly plays for Chelsea and England would risk upsetting his many black team-mates by racially abusing another player. And I detest that revolting specimen Sepp Blatter, who recently got into trouble for suggesting an apology and a handshake should be the answer to racist insults. But I’m pretty sure Terry is innocent, and that even if he isn’t, prosecuting him represents a farcical over-reaction by a criminal justice system which, thanks to unrelenting pressure from the Liberal Establishment, has entirely lost the plot. As for Blatter, on this specific issue, unlikely as it might sound – well, the creep’s right!

1 comment:

  1. My wife has pointed out that when our son was the victim of a mugging over two years ago during the course of an evening which saw a number of boys from his school robbed by pupils from a local state school in a series of incidents, some involving knives, the police leapt into action - the perpetrators were caught, sent to court, and convictions followed.

    Credit where credit's due!